Sniper fire plagues troops in Afghanistan

Aug. 19, 2010 at 10:32 PM
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SANGIN, Afghanistan, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Two soldiers were killed and other U.S. Marines and British soldiers have been hit by snipers in Sangin, Afghanistan, in recent days, Marine officials said.

One or two snipers, who have shown good marksmanship, have tormented the men of Lima Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marine regiment and British forces, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

"He's hitting people -- that's very disruptive. But it's not interfering with what we're trying to do here," said 1st Sgt. John Calhoun, 41, of Konawa, Okla.

On Aug. 13, the day the company arrived in Sangin, a Marine stepped from his armored vehicle about 100 yards from a secure U.S.-British patrol base. The sniper fired a single shot, killing the soldier, the Journal said.

On the same day, Darren Foster, 20, a British army engineer from Carlisle, England, was shot and killed as he walked in an unprotected small space that bridge two areas of bulletproof glass, the Journal reported.

"(The sniper) hit a moving target in a space this big," said Capt. Jim Nolan, Lima Company's commander, indicating a space of 9 inches with his hands.

On Aug. 14, a U.S. tank mechanic was hit in the torso, but was protected by his body armor, the newspaper said.

On Sunday, Lance Cpl. Derek Simpson was hit in the head by a bullet, but was not seriously injured.

Fifteen minutes after Simpson was taken to the patrol base, another Marine was hit, but the wound was not life-threatening, the Journal said.

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